At least 600 vendors in Nyamityobora Market, Mbarara City are counting losses after fire burnt their merchandise worth millions of shillings.
The Saturday morning fire is said to have started at around 4:30 am, leaving several stalls and kiosks burnt to ashes.
One of the security guards, Mr Brian Ssemanda claimed the fire was started by some unknown people with ill intentions because it was reportedly spreading from different sides of the market.
“I was seated in the market as it was breaking to dawn when the night watchman who was guarding the front side of the market alerted me that fire had gutted stalls. We first started with rescuing some property but we could not manage. As we were trying to put out the first fire, the other side of the market also started burning. It seems there was someone who was setting the fire because it was burning from all the angles,’’ Mr Ssemanda said.
The market traders’ chairman, Mr Wilson Rwankore said they have four security guards usually deployed to provide security but wondered how the fire was started without their notice.
He said the market had 600 registered traders who deal in different items including food and second hand clothes.
Ms Saidat Rukundo who was operating a food kiosk in the market blamed police which is in the neighbourhood for failing to help put out the fire in time leaving their merchandise to burn to ashes.
Rwizi region police spokesperson, Mr Samson Kasasira said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.